Today, on Tuesday, the 18th of May, Matt Lauer released a lengthy criticism of Ronan Farrow’s book, Catch and Kill, which explored sexual assault allegations against a number of formerly influential men.
In case you missed it, Brooke Neville accused Matt Lauer of rape in October 2019, which some now believe was merely a marketing tactic to stir up controversy to sell Ronan’s book. Matt addressed this idea in his statement today, which Page Six picked up.
According to Matt Lauer on the website, Mediaite, he was “shaken, but not surprised” by the fact that many in the media weren’t willing to do basic fact-checking regarding the allegations against him last fall.
Lauer claimed he initially planned to release a statement in November 2019, but external circumstances, notably, the COVID-19 pandemic, forced him to postpone the statement’s release. The former Today host also addressed the recent New York Times piece which was very critical of Ronan Farrow’s work.
Regardless, the Today show alum explained that the piece from the New York Times prompted him to “move forward” with his own investigation. Matt noted the way in which Brooke was hailed as “courageous” and “brave” shortly after the book’s publication, despite the purported lack of fact-checking.
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Moreover, Matt says he was “disappointed” but equally unsurprised by Ronan’s reporting, which was not scrutinized by the general mainstream press. Farrow’s “salacious stories” were dropped as a “marketing effort” to garner attention for Catch and Kill, the former Today host explained.
Matt says that this should be a cause for concern for anyone who cares about journalism and the future of the profession. The ex-host went on to say that his statement is not even about himself, it’s about whether “changing social attitudes can be allowed to change the most fundamental rules of journalism.”
He says it’s about whether journalists have the responsibility as professionals to do proper fact-checking and vetting sources. On Monday, Ronan claimed he stood by his book and the reporting within it.